Drs Nicole van der Schaaf, art historian: "... Alhoewel nog eeuwenlang de fameuze ‘Stier van Potter’ een favoriet oefenobject was, brak er toch in de 19de eeuw een meer naturalistische tijd aan voor het veeportret. Philine van der Vegte treedt met haar schitterende veestukken in de voetsporen van deze voorgangers, die het vee hun eigen karakter teruggaven en plaatsten in hun natuurlijk omgeving: de Hollandse weide. Kijk de schapen van Van der Vegte aan en zie het dier in al zijn waardigheid: kracht en onafhankelijkheid gaat samen met schoonheid. Maar zie tevens de kwetsbaarheid van het dier over wiens lot wij mensen beslissen."
"Hominidae" is the theme I am now working on. It started when drawing at the Artis Zoo, something I really enjoy doing. I keep finding myself at the gorillas and chimpanzees, and wondering about the incredible boredom they must experience in their enclosure. One of the gorillas came up to the glass one day to look at my sketchbook. The great apes are our closest relatives, yet we destroy their habitats. There also seems to be an element of showing my own emotions through their expressions. What can you show in the eyes, face, posture of an ape? I have no idea where this project will lead me, but I feel the need to paint these portraits. I am open to whatever will come from it.
The MILK project is about painting my immediate surroundings, with a focus on the different sides of contemporary dairy farming.
How do things really work on a modern dairy farm, and why? How does this affect the animals, the people and the landscape? I want to look into this and capture it with an open mind. Sketch and paint as much as my neighbours will allow in stables and fields. See what has been done by other painters. Talk with farmers a lot. Paint a few big cattle works. Record a life line from birth to slaughter. Educate myself, and maybe others as well.
"Veilig in de kudde" (Safe in the herd) is a series in ink and chacoal on paper. It is a project I made for a solo exhibition in the church of Zuiderwoude. I started making sheep drawings in ink and charcoal just before I was invited, and they seemed perfect for this rural village. I filled the whole church with sheep paintings, making the visitors feel like like they're in the middle of a flock. The fact that these were all made in the middle of corona times with social distancing as the new normal, made me think more about the basic need of all herd animals (including people) for physical closeness and touch.
Donkey-hide gelatin or ass-hide glue is gelatin obtained from the skin of the donkey by soaking and stewing. It is used as an ingredient in the traditional medicine of China, where it is called ejiao.
While researching donkeys I stumbled across information about the hide trade. 5 million donkeys per year, many of which are stolen, are slaughtered for their hides to make health and beauty products. Once I became aware of the treatment of these animals I could not let it go. Finding donkey hide gelatin available online for shipping to the Netherlands apalled me and I used the ads for painting on.
During the project "Portrait of a village" I started painting life size horses with oil on canvas and in ink on paper. This is still ongoing.
"Portrait of a village" was my graduation project at Wackers Academy in 2018-2019. Under mentorship of the English plein air painter Jim Harris, I painted in Katwoude, a small agricultural village along the IJsselmeer dyke, just north of Amsterdam. The project officially ended with my graduation in June 2019, but it seems to be ongoing. Most of the paintings I am making now fall into the same category of painting my local surroundings.
Philine van der Vegte, figurative artist, portrait painter, animal painter
Hoogedijk 40, 1145 pp Katwoude NL
tel +31 634297557 (but I prefer mail or whatsapp)
VAT number NL 001997814B55, KvK 37147106